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Us History Essay

  • Submitted by: Aestrada1
  • on June 4, 2014
  • Category: History
  • Length: 1,156 words

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Below is an essay on "Us History" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

The word reconstruction means re-unification and rebuilding the utter destruction of the South in the Civil War. Building what was lost and what was damaged. It was a period where the South was building again to start over and become stronger than before. Reconstruction was a success in that it restored the United States as a unified nation, by 1877, all of the former Confederate states had drafted new constitutions, acknowledged the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments, and pledged their loyalty to the U.S. government. Reconstruction also finally settled the states’ rights vs. federalism debate that had been an issue since the 1790s.
However, Reconstruction failed by most other measures. Radical Republican legislation ultimately failed to protect former slaves from white persecution and failed to engender fundamental changes to the social fabric of the South. When President Rutherford B. Hayes removed federal troops from the South in 1877, former Confederate officials and slave owners almost immediately returned to power. With the support of a conservative Supreme Court, these newly empowered white southern politicians passed black codes, voter qualifications, and other anti-progressive legislation to reverse the rights that blacks had gained during Radical Reconstruction. The U.S. Supreme Court bolstered this anti-progressive movement with decisions in the Slaughterhouse Cases, the Civil Rights Cases, and United States v. Cruikshank that effectively repealed the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments and the Civil Rights Act of 1875.
Meanwhile, the sharecropping system essentially a legal form of slavery that kept blacks tied to land owned by rich white farmers became widespread in the South. With little economic power, blacks ended up having to fight for civil rights on their own, as northern whites lost interest in Reconstruction by the mid-1870s. By 1877, northerners were tired of Reconstruction, scandals, radicals, and the fight for blacks’ rights....

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